Australia WorldSBK R2 Results: Lowes defeats Rea in epic victory dash

Australia WorldSBK Race 2 Results: A thrilling final race at Phillip Island sees Alex Lowes deliver a storming performance for victory on Kawasaki debut

Alex Lowes - Kawasaki Racing Team

Alex Lowes has taken victory on his first weekend as a Kawasaki Racing Team rider after getting the better of team-mate Jonathan Rea is breathless second WorldSBK race at Phillip Island.

On a memorable weekend of close racing in Australia, a canny Lowes prevailed by holding his nerve in a race that never let up in intensity with as many as nine riders circulating within two seconds of the lead right up until the final laps.

With both Race 1 and the Superpole Race delivering immensely close action up to the finish line, Race 2 surpassed even those high benchmarks with myriad of passing manoeuvres amongst the lead group all the way to the flag.

Rea had looked to have done enough to repel his rivals as he controlled the pace to such an extent the lead group never fractured, the Ulsterman seemingly hoping it would earn him the tyre life to push in the crucial final laps.

Indeed, despite losing the lead on a handful of occasions midway through the race to a feisty Loris Baz, Rea’s ability to snatch it straight back suggested he had performance in reserve.

However, he hadn’t quite taken into account Lowes, who having yo-yoed up and down the lead group throughout the race, worked his way up to the top three in the crucial closing stages.

With momentum on his side, Lowes powered into the lead for the first time with just three laps remaining after Rea ran wide at Turn 1 but when the Ulsterman was then caught out by Michael van der Mark passing him into the hairpin, it allowed the Lowes to create a small gap that he’d take into the final lap.

Undeterred, Rea got straight onto the back of his new team-mate and shadowed him throughout the last revolution but with Lowes hitting his marks and holding his line, the five-time WorldSBK champion couldn’t find a way through on the Briton.

In the end the pair would be split by just 0.037s at the line, Lowes’ victory – only his third in WorldSBK – together with second in Race 1 and fourth in the Superpole Race earning him the early championship lead.

Despite his slow pace gamble failing to pay off for victory, second place still marks a strong recovery for Rea not least because erstwhile championship leader Toprak Razgatlioglu was forced into retirement late on with a technical issue.

Scott Redding capped off a strong maiden WorldSBK weekend with another third place finish, the ex-MotoGP rider competitive but never quite able to get in amongst the lead fight.

In fourth, van der Mark will no doubt feel dissatisfied with his weekend having battled for victory in all three races, only to lose out each time when it mattered into the closing stages.

Chaz Davies enjoyed a much-improved afternoon in fifth place, the Welshman getting the better of Alvaro Bautista, who battled in the lead group albeit without making much of an impression on it.

In seventh, Maximilian Scheib delivered an outstanding performance to run with the leaders on the Orelac Kawasaki, the Chilean grabbing a seventh place finish just four seconds from the top spot.

Baz, meanwhile, was left to make do with an unrepresentative eighth place result in what was an otherwise inspired performance. The Frenchman took the fight to Rea midway through the race and led on more than one occasion, but ultimately saw his hopes of a strong result scuppered when he was sent across the grass in avoidance of a slowing Razgatlioglu right in front of him.

With only 12 riders classified at the finish, Tom Sykes and Xavi Fores finished 10th and 11th after tangling early in the race and dropping back, with Leon Haslam a distant 12th after crashing in an incident that eliminated Michael Ruben Rinaldi.

2020 Australian WorldSBK, Phillip Island - Race 2 Results

2020 Australian WorldSBK, Phillip Island - Race 2 Results
1Alex LowesGBRKawasaki Racing TeamKawasaki ZX-10RR22 Laps
2Jonathan ReaGBRKawasaki Racing TeamKawasaki ZX-10RR+0.037
3Scott Racing DucatiDucati Panigale V4 R+0.849
4Michael van der MarkNEDPata Yamaha WorldSBKYamaha YZF-R1+1.784
5Chaz Racing DucatiDucati Panigale V4 R+4.278
6Alvaro BautistaESPTeam HRCHonda CBR1000RR-R+4.322
7Maximilian ScheibCHIOrelac Racing VerdnaturaKawasaki ZX-10RR+4.829
8Loris BazFRATen Kate RacingYamaha YZF-R1+6.172
9Sandro CorteseGEROutdo Kawasaki TPRKawasaki ZX-10RR+11.057
10Tom SykesGBRBMW Motorrad WorldSBKBMW S1000RR+17.204
11Xavi ForesESPKawasaki Puccetti RacingKawasaki ZX-10RR+33.338
12Leon HaslamGBRTeam HRCHonda CBR1000RR-R+33.779
NCMichael Ruben RinaldiITATeam GOELEVENDucati Panigale V4 R+6 Laps
DNFToprak RazgatliogluTURPata Yamaha WorldSBKYamaha YZF-R118 Laps
DNFFederico CaricasuloITAGRT Junior WorldSBKYamaha YZF-R19 Laps
DNFTakumi TakahashiJPNMIE Racing HondaHonda CBR1000RR-R8 Laps
 Eugene LavertyIRLBMW Motorrad WorldSBKBMW S1000RRWithdrawn
 Garrett GerloffUSAGRT Junior WorldSBKYamaha YZF-R1Withdrawn
 Leon CamierGBRBarni RacingDucati Panigale V4 RWithdrawn